Exercise is Childs Play

Tuesday, 24th March 2015 2:39 pm

When adults exercise they have to be so formal, regimented and participate in serious activities like running and going to the gym. However children can exercise while playing and having fun, basically as long as your child is physically active they are exercising their bodies. Children have exercise when they play tag, climb on playground equipment, participate in PE lessons, dance classes, ride a bike and play football. In fact the opportunities to exercise during play are endless.

The Benefits of Exercise

Everybody benefits from exercising, this can been seen in our general health and well being. Children who exercise and are active have; stronger muscles and bones, reduced body fat, a lower body weight, less risk of developing type 2 diabetes and generally have a better outlook in life. This is because they become body confident and have the opportunity to interact with others while they exercise. If your child has difficulty sleeping maybe you should increase the amount of exercise they have to encourage the onset of sleep.

The Three Components of Exercise

When you take your child to a local playground you will be able to see the three main components of exercise in action. The three main components of exercise are; endurance, strength and flexibility. These can be seen displayed in the following ways.

Endurance

Endurance exercises are aerobic exercises that strengthen the heart and oxygenates the whole body. The more out of breath you are when you do aerobic exercises the greater the benefit it is to your overall health. Endurance exercises include; running, basketball, bicycling, ice-skating, football, swimming, tennis, walking and any activity that makes you out of breath.

Strength

Children generally don’t have to resort to weight lifting to increase their strength as they can participate in play activities that encourage bending and stretching like; travelling along monkey bars or crawling through tubes in a playground. By increasing the strength of the whole body children are more able to improve posture and are more likely to write neater.

Flexibility

By doing stretching exercises muscles can become less tight allowing children much more freedom of movement. You can encourage your children to learn how to do good stretches by doing warm up exercises similar to the type you do before playing any kind of sport. This type of exercise is quite relaxing too and is a great way to interact with your child.

Physical Fitness and School Success

Increasingly it has been noted by parents and sporting experts alike that physical fitness makes a major contribution to success at school. A major study in Nebraska compared the level of children’s fitness to their results in standardised scores in English and maths. They found that on the whole children who were physically fit tended to score to do well academically, even children who were overweight but were physically fit had improved scores. They also suggested that participation in physical exercise gave children the stamina and determination to succeed.

Children don’t need to be on the football team to be physically fit, as long as they play actively and participate in activities that enable them to develop their endurance, strength and flexibility they will be fit and healthy.